Putting things off can bring a brief reprieve but then it all builds up and suddenly we find ourselves swamped with work and overwhelmed by the prospect of it all. Here we give you 10 easy ways to break down procrastination and make you a more productive individual.
1. Choose One Thing
One of the biggest issues with procrastination is that people often feel they have too much to do and don't know where to start.
This overwhelming feeling comes from giving ourselves too much to do and so by approaching one task single-mindedly allows us to focus on that wholeheartedly and then cross it off the list.
2. Start Now!
A thousand mile journey begins with one step. We have to begin a task to complete it and it may seem daunting but that's not going to go away until it is done.
The sooner you recognize that you need to begin, the sooner it will all be over.
3. The 5-Minute Miracle
This is a technique for those who really struggle to focus but is essentially choosing a tiny task that you can do within five minutes no matter how small a chunk it helps towards your end goal. Once you’ve identified a small action, set a timer for five minutes and spend five minutes working on the task because research suggests that once you've started a task, you are far more likely to complete it than not.
Five minutes can rapidly snowball and even if it doesn't, you've at least done something.
4. The Power Hour
Similar to the 5-minute miracle, the Power Hour means that you eliminate all distractions and work solidly for an hour. This means that you get a good, concentrated chunk of work done interspersed with short periods of rest (ideally no more than twenty minutes). This technique allows for a period of intense focus without the brain tiring.
You naturally experience mental peaks and troughs so by making the most of these you can increase your productivity immensely.
5. Forgive Yourself
If you let past procrastination go, you are more likely to stop procrastinating now.
By practicing self-forgiveness you won't focus so much on past struggles whilst trying to do work now. Self-compassion is important.
6. Pick A Power Song
Pick a great tune that really gets you energized and listen to it before starting a task in order to get yourself pumped.
This will also create a work trigger for your brain and will get you energized everytime you hear that song.
7. Identify Why You're Procrastinating
Sit down and try and understand why you're avoiding the task and then maybe you can address the issue head-on.
If it's as simple as it being difficult or undesirable then you realize your fears aren't as bad as you've made them out to be.
8. Lose The Unnecessary
Putting things often comes about because of the feeling you have too much to do but people often add things that aren't really needed to their to-do list.
Find the things that aren't that important and just forget about it and suddenly the list is a whole lot smaller.
9. Give Yourself Incentives
Negative incentives can really work a treat and if you include someone else in it, it means you have that extra support from someone else as well.
For example, tell a friend you will take them for coffee or give them a few bucks if you don't do a certain thing by a certain time. No one likes losing so you'll be super keen to get to work.
10. Have Fun
If you can make the task fun then do it. By rewarding yourself or keeping your attention you are far more likely to succeed in getting it done.